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Così fan tutte

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1790)

It starts with a casual bet. The wily old cynic Don Alfonso wagers that the fiancées of two young men, complacent in their romantic notions of love, won’t stay faithful for a minute if put to the test. It sounds harmless enough and, anyway, the lovers are entirely sure of themselves. But cruelty is inherent in this game of love and chance.

Mozart created some of his most dazzlingly beautiful music for Così fan tutte and with unsparing accuracy, truthfulness and sparkling humour he explores the themes of trust and deception, and loyalty and desire in romantic relationships.

Director Tim Albery has had a long and distinguished association with Opera North over the last 30 years, from his groundbreaking production of The Trojans in the 1980s to his recent five-star (The Observer) production of The Coronation of Poppea (2014).

Go to this production: there are lots of good Cosìs, but this is in a class apart.

The Spectator

Sung in English
Lasts approximately 3 hours

Supported by the Friends of Opera North

The Music

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No future performances are planned for this production.


Click on the venue below to plan your visit.

Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre 3 - 26 Feb 2016 7:00pm

Così fan tutte

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46 New Briggate

Box office: 0844 848 2720

Enjoy 20% off your bill at Sandinista (Cross Belgrave Street - New Briggate) on presentation of your Opera North ticket when placing their food order. To book a table call 0113 305 0372. Food is served till 10pm through the week with final orders at 9pm Friday and Saturday. Only valid on the day of the performance their ticket is for. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. 

Important Information

The theatre is easily accessible by public transport. It is approximately 10 minutes walk from the main bus station and 15 minutes walk from the train station with many buses stopping in the immediate vicinity. For the most up to date information on local bus and train times, please check WYMetro. There is also a taxi rank outside the theatre although we recommend booking a taxi in advance, particularly on a Friday or Saturday evening.

Parking is available at various nearby car parks, including Edward Street/Templar Street and the St John's and Merrion Centre shopping malls. A limited amount of on street parking available near the theatre is free after 6pm but this does tend to fill up very quickly.

Newcastle Theatre Royal 2 - 4 Mar 2016 7:00pm

Così fan tutte

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100 Grey Street
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Box office: 08448 112121


Free Parking in all City Council multi-storey carparks after 5pm.

The two closest car parks to Theatre Royal are the Oxford Street multi-storey (just behind the Laing) and the Dean Street multi-storey. Click here for more info.

There are two parking spaces for blue badge holders on Shakespeare Street and three on Hood Street. Most parking meters are free to Blue Badge Holders.


Alight at Monument Metro Station and follow the signs for the Theatre Royal. We are less than one minutes walk from the Metro entrance on Grey Street.

Travel free on the Metro with your theatre ticket (up to two hours before and after the performance) - simply retain your theatre ticket for inspection by Metro Staff.


The Theatre Royal is only ten minutes walk from Newcastle Central Station.

Nottingham Theatre Royal 8 - 11 Mar 2016 7:00pm

Così fan tutte

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Theatre Square
Important Information

Box office: 0115 989 5555

By Car

Follow signs for the city centre and the 'Royal Zone'. Nearest car parks are Talbot Street car park and Crowne Plaza Hotel car park on Wollaton Street.
For maps and information about on-street parking, off-street car parks, park and ride and the blue badge scheme please visit Parking In Nottingham

By Bus

For bus times call Nottingham City Transport on 0115 950 6070, Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk   Find out about our £1 return bus ticket here.

By Tram

 The 'Royal Centre' tram stop is directly outside the venue and runs every 10 minutes until midnight. There are five Park and Ride sites along the route. Visit www.thetram.net or call 0115 942 7777 for full details of the tram route. Find out about our £1 return tram ticket here.

By Rail

Nottingham Station is a 15 minute walk or a short taxi or tram ride from the venue. Call 0845 748 4950 or www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times and fares. 

Salford Quays The Lowry 16 - 18 Mar 2016 7:00pm

Così fan tutte

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Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ
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Box office: 0843 208 6000 

There is a passenger drop-off point immediately in front of The Lowry. Secure parking is available in The Lowry Outlet Mall multi-storey car park. There are designated areas for disabled parking on every level. 

The Lowry is accessible by train, tram and bus. http://www.tfgm.com/

From national railway stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria you can travel to The Lowry by Metrolink tram. You can board an Eccles line tram and should alight at Harbour City, or Media City UK for trams which stop there, as this is slightly closer.

More info: http://www.thelowry.com/plan-your-visit/getting-here/

Audio described performance logo

Audio described performance

Thursday 18 February 2016 
Touch tour at 5.45pm, performance starts 7pm

Related Links

Così fan tutte: Things you never knew...
The secrets of the opera exposed!

Così fan tutte in a nutshell
Everything you need to know in one place

Audience Reaction Trailer


What you say

Comment from Trevor


Trevor said ago

I have to agree, it needed titles. Even if you know the work, it helps to get the detail. Detracts from an otherwise excellent evening

Comment from Maggie Shields


Maggie Shields said ago

I am trying to educate myself by enjoying opera, and was really looking forward to 'Cosi...' but I am in agreement with several other comments - if I can't understand what is being said/sung, how can I follow the story, or, in my frustration at this, even appreciate the music ? Comic timing or not, surely a priority is comprehension, particularly for a comic plot, and particularly it seems in this one where there are lengthy arias and one has no idea of what the singer is on about !
Please, please, surtitles even for English or let's have productions in Italian if that's the only way we can understand what's going on. I found the exasperation at trying to get at the words spoilt my enjoyment of this night at the opera and will deter me from coming again.
Sad, when the solution is so simple.
Regrets, Maggie.

Comment from Alexander Jacoby


Alexander Jacoby said ago

The fifth time I've seen Cosi staged, but the first time that I've really felt the work's essential darkness was brought across; the closing scene, in particular, was harrowing. I loved the set and staging and thought they made the point about Don Alfonso's grisly experiment most effectively. Singing was excellent from all - top honours to Maire Flavin whose Fiordilgi was technically flawless, and by turns imposing and moving. Jac van Steen's opera-seria-style reading of the score also impressed, harmonising with the bleak interpretation of the production. My one reservation - I agree with some posters above that the diction wasn't always precise enough to justify the use of English without surtitles. As someone who knows the piece well, I can only imagine that this problem was even more pronounced for newcomers. It's all very well for you to try and avoid a "delay in between a sung line and the surtitle which could affect the comic timing of the piece," but an audience straining to hear a sung line has an even worse effect on timing and response. If we must have Mozart in English, please give us surtitles; those who feel they don't need them needn't look at them. I must say, though, I personally think that you should be performing Mozart in Italian, as you did with Don Giovanni a few years back, since no composer has ever been quite so skilled at choosing precisely the right notes for a specific series of words. That gripe aside, well done! This was a great night!

Comment from Harjinder and Richard


Harjinder and Richard said ago

Wonderful. We saw Cosi fan tutte last night and we can't say enough in praise. The set needed getting used to but read the programme this morning - thank you for that, too. Congratulations.

Comment from Nicholas Dobson


Nicholas Dobson said ago

Excellent performance as expected from singers and orchestra in Mozart's serio-comic odyssey through the frailties, fragilities joys and pains of human beings and their relationships. One detail though. Whilst I know many find them distracting, personally I would have appreciated titles. For even with clear singer articulation the words were frequently difficult or impossible to make out (in my case) even from the front row.

Comment from Helen Seymour


Helen Seymour said ago

Glorious singing matching the glorious music. Not a weak link. And the orchestra as good as ever. Loved the production and staging - brings out all the darkness and bitterness of the story, and the claustrophobia of the women's lives.

Comment from Maggie Green


Maggie Green said ago

Wow it was all about the voices. How beautiful and the orchestra how perfect We loved and appreciated a brilliant performance by you all. And another thing loved the set how amusing their entrances. Not even having to open the door! I would love to have an expanding room. Where did you get it! Thank you so much. Maggie and Liz Green.

Comment from Ingrid Barton


Ingrid Barton said ago

While I enjoyed the excellent performance of the singers (and, it goes without saying, the music) I thought the dreary set was really disappointing and found all the excessive business with the white chairs and the sliding doors quite irritating and distracting. I'm sure there was a deeply meaningful idea behind the camera (apart from economy) but it palled.

Opera North response:

Hi Ingrid,

Thanks for your comment. We're really glad you enjoyed the production. We appreciate your feedback about the staging and if you like you can find out a bit more about the concept in our 'in a nutshell' feature. Hope that helps and we look forward to seeing you again!


Comment from Alastair


Alastair said ago

An excellent production with all singers in great form and the orchestra as brilliant as ever.
But... some years ago in a questionnaire it was requested by many that surtitles be used even when singing in English. The singing female voice is untintelligible. Better sing in Italian and have the surtitles.

Opera North response:

Hi Alastair,

We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed the performance of Cosi fan tutte. In relation to surtitles, we make a decision about whether to include them for operas sung in English early in the production process. We feel that comedies in particular are better presented without titles, so that there isn't a delay in between a sung line and the surtitle which could affect the comic timing of the piece.

With best wishes,
Opera North

Comment from Garry Morris


Garry Morris said ago

My girlfriend got me "in" to opera a year ago & this was my third visit to The Leeds Grand to see a production.
Best yet!

Comment from Allan


Allan said ago

Great music, great singing. I'd forgotten, however, just how unremittingly SILLY the plot and libretto are. Not witty but silly. Not funny but silly. Not clever but silly. And after a whole act of plain silliness this listener had had enough and went home. "Frothy and infantile" aptly describes the endlessly silly plot.
Strangely I didn't feel this when I first saw Tutte around 10 (?) years ago with Opera North. Perhaps I've grown up. I'm 70.

Comment from Sinead


Sinead said ago

Is this a new production please?

Opera North response:

Hi Sinead. We are delighted to bring back two of the best-loved productions in our core repertoire, as part of our 15/16 season. L'elisir d'amore is directed by Daniel Slater and was new in 2000, while Cosi fan tutte was originally directed by Tim Albery in 2004. Both operas return with a vibrant new cast of talented young singers. We hope you can join us for a performance.

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What the critics say

...the production, eloquently conducted by Jac van Steen, continues to provide a platform for new generations of talent...resplendent.

The Guardian - Read full review

It’s a real ensemble effort, with Máire Flavin’s peachily sung Fiordiligi the pick of the bunch.

The Times - Read full review

...a really brilliant idea...a welcome revival of an intelligent, nuanced production

Bachtrack - Read full review

Additional Information

  • Fiordiligi Máire Flavin
  • Dorabella Helen Sherman
  • Ferrando Nicholas Watts
  • Guglielmo Gavan Ring
  • Despina Ellie Laugharne
  • Don Alfonso William Dazeley
Creative Team
  • Conductor Jac van Steen (ex 16, 18 March)
  • Conductor Anthony Kraus (16, 18 March)
  • Director Tim Albery
  • Set & Costume Designer Tobias Hoheisel
  • Lighting Designer David Finn
#MozartMoment prize draw

Opera North are asking followers on Facebook and Twitter to share their favourite moment of Mozart to enter to win a pair of tickets to Così fan tutte.

Terms and conditions are as follows:

  1. This draw is open to UK residents only
  2. Entrants must be 18 or over
  3. Tickets are for Leeds Grand Theatre only
  4. Eligible performance dates are Wed 10 Feb, Thu 18 Feb & Fri 26 Feb
  5. The draw closes on Mon 8 Feb
  6. The winner will be contacted on Twitter or Facebook respectively via direct message
  7. Tickets are to be collected from the Leeds Grand Theatre Box Office on the night of the performance
Season Tickets

If you purchase 3 or more operas from our remaining 2015/2016 season, you receive 10% off your total ticket price plus a whole host of other benefits including:

  • Gift vouchers
  • Ticket exchange for just £1
  • Spread the cost over monthly instalments
  • No booking fee
  • Cheaper parking (with discounted pre-paid tickets for Q park St John’s Centre, £4)
  • Read your programmes in advance with free postage & packing (Programmes £5)

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Restaurants & Dining

A night at the opera isn’t complete without a perfectly crafted pre-theatre meal. Opera North has teamed up with several restaurants and bars close to Leeds Grand Theatre to provide an exciting range of dining options to complete your experience.

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Under 30s Scheme

Are you 19-29 years old or a full-time student? Enjoy live music and theatre? Interested in attending events for a discounted price? Join our Under 30s scheme! The membership is FREE and a great opportunity for you and your friends to experience opera and more…

This season, our U30 members receive:

  • £10 tickets to any main stage opera performance*
  • An invitation to this season’s special event for L'elisir d'amore: Vintage, Vespas & Vino
  • 2 FREE tickets to events in our Kirklees Concert Season*
  • Offers on Food and Drink at selected bars and restaurants with your U30 membership card*

And much more!

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For accessibility information for Leeds Grand Theatre, The Lowry, Salford Quays, Newcastle Theatre Royal and Nottingham Theatre Royal, visit our Accessibility page.

Meet the Girls | Così fan tutte


We caught up with our very own Fiordiligi and Dorabella, also known as Irish soprano Máire Flavin and Australian mezzo-soprano Helen Sherman, to find out what they are most enjoying about preparing for the show, and why they think this Così fan tutte is so specia...

Read the full post

Meet the Boys | Così fan tutte


As opening night approaches, we caught up with the boys of Così fan tutte, Ferrando and Guglielmo — British tenor Nicholas Watts and Irish baritone Gavan Ring to find out what they are most enjoying about preparing for the show, and what they think of their c...

Read the full post

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